The Digital Control dial-in control gives you complete control over the temperature of the grill. It has a temperature range of 170 Fahrenheit all the way up to 600 Fahrenheit. You simply set the temperature and the grill will do the rest.
Any grills with moving parts and electrical components can break down (a risk not associated with charcoal or wood grills). If exposed to moisture, pellet fuels will disintegrate. People who live in humid climates must keep their pellets dry, preferably indoors in airtight lidded containers.
The components of your pellet grill that matter the most are the fire pot, flame deflector, drip pan and grates. If these components are made of marine grade stainless steel, you have a cooker that will last you a lifetime.
Now on to your question. As you mention, this is a pretty subjective topic…ask 10 people and you might get 10 different answers. When I can order them affordably, my favorite pellet is CookinPellets 100% Hickory. I don’t have any local retail outlets, and ordering from the factory brings pricey shipping costs into play. I like to wait for good deals on Amazon so I can make orders with free shipping. Amazon occasionally runs them for less the $30 per 40# bag…and as you probably know, just make an order of at least $35 and their standard ground shipping is free.
Temperature vary depending on different cooking, making this an important factor to consider when selecting the best pellet smoker for you. What type of cooking do you practice? Most if not all pellet smokers are good when used at indirect cooking and the maximum temperature they can get ranges from 180 – 425 degrees. This temperature range is good when one is grilling, roasting, baking or smoking. It becomes a challenge when you want to sear, which requires a temperature range of 500 – 550 degrees.
With the traeger, rec-tec or cam chef smokers all seem to burn 1-2lbs per hour. But for a long 18hr brisket it seems like I will have to continue to use pellets the whole time to keep the heat in range over over 200 which will mean I am using almost a 20-40lb bag depending on the time year per smoke. This is even more expensive than the bradley seems even with the wasted briquette. IS this correct or is there something I am missing?
Web-based control – this is an idea yet to be implemented and is intended to be an upgrade to the Wi-Fi control feature. The plan is to make it possible to control a smoker’s temperature from any place on the planet as long as the smoker is connected to the internet. This will let you set your food and go to work without worries.
Hi Carol – they absolutely can. At the high end, Memphis Grill puts out units that are made for this. You might also have luck with MAK doing an install like what you’re seeking. The others – I’m not sure. I’d probably look at Memphis Grills.
Our trick is to look at the frequency of positive ratings on the web for any product, this one got a really high frequency, meaning a lot of people liked it in a short amount of time. A great indicator of reliability and quality, as well as good customer service. It got 10 positive reviews in the first 18 days, 10 more in 8 days, and 10 more in the following 16 days. That’s very positive for a charcoal burner.
It’s not perfect, though. There are certain features left to be desired. For instance, this smoker doesn’t have a temperature probe as we’ve seen with some models. It’s not a deal breaker, it does come with a very accurate thermometer, but we have seen probes on units in this price range, so that’s left to be desired.
Not only can you get just the right amount of smoke, you can get enormous amounts of food into it. The cooking area is huge, like side of pig big. This is a smoker grill for a serious smoker enthusiast or party lover. You could feed an army with it, making it just the thing for any kind of family get together. A big grill means lots of electricity and a longer time to warm up, so it is a smoker for just a quick sausage or two. The only downside to this grill is that the window to the grill can fog up. If that’s the only bad thing, it is a darn good grill.
Here’s my long term review of the GMG Daniel Boone grill purchased in Nov of 2010, about six and a half years ago. My model has the stainless steel lid. Assembly was straight forward and only required attaching the legs and folding side table as I recall. Operation was straight forward and the grill heated quickly to any desired temperature from 180 to 500 degrees usually in ten minutes or less. The temperature was maintained consistently within +5/-5 degrees as long as the hopper had pellets. This grill was truly a dream to cook with which we did 3 – 4 times a week from March through October. That is the good part.
We use our Traeger about twice a week. Every month or so, I simply remove the grate and the angled plate and do the deed with my garage vac. The whole operation takes about five minutes from disassembly to finish.
Many of the models require you to clean them up for 30 minutes because you have to take out the gooey deflector plate and the greasy grates in order to scrape them off and wash them until they’re shining. Careful cleaning is required when the grease and carbon is covering the deflector plate. The easy-clean grills typically make the parts more accessible but the amount of cleanup remains the same.
As you can see in this selection of pellet grill reviews, the act of heating pellets and generating smoke in any pellet smoker is pretty much the same. Yes, some pellet grills use thicker metal, have better thermostats, air flow, racks, drip flow, etc. But the ask any professional BBQ cooker who uses a pellet grill, and they’ll tell you that the quality of your smoke really does come down to the pellets themselves. Here’s what one very astute BBQ pro had to say over at the Pellet Smoke Ring:
This was a great article and so glad I found it. I have been looking at pellet grills for a year now since I am not very happy with my electric smoker and want something that creates a more authentic smoke ring and taste.
Technically speaking, digital smokers don’t have an open flame. This means you won’t get the same smoke ring that you would get from a charcoal smoker. However, looks aside, the fuel doesn’t heavily affect taste. You won’t have the coal flavor that so many people enjoy with their barbecue, but smoking relies (or should rely) on the flavor of the wood and seasonings far more than the fuel’s influence. If you taste the coal more than the wood when you use a coal-fueled smoker, you’re doing something wrong.
Although many people refer to pellet smokers as grills, they aren’t the best for cooking steaks, burgers or hot dogs. Because they use indirect heat, they’re typically best for smoking turkey, pork and other meats. For this type of cooking, however, they are some of the best options.
For home models, get at least a 10 amp, 12 gauge, three prong cord (oddly, 12 gauge is higher capacity than 14 gauge). That’s more than you need, but better safe than sorry. Commercial models may have different requirements.
My girlfriend told me her dad had just purchased a gas smoker and he loves it. I followed the smell of smoke to the grill master himself. Her dad was checking on the meat and this was my chance to ask him about his new smoker grill.
I’m torn between the RecTec , the Yoder 460 and a friend has a Blaz’en pellet smoker he uses in comps that he loves. I didn’t see that last one in your review so was wondering if you’ve heard anything positive or negative about them and recommendations from you on my scenario.
With heavy duty all terrain wheels this grill can easily be navigated in just about any outside situation. It also comes with a rust proof cover to ensure the grill is always protected no matter what the weather looks like.
This smoker offers a massive 560 cubic inches of grilling area with a large-capacity pellet hopper. Even though it’s the perfect starter grill, it’s still packed with plenty of extras that even the pro chefs will enjoy. If the grilling space isn’t enough, the removable upper racks can be turned into extra cooking space. The smoke stack behind the unit can also be converted into a prep area.
Pellet Flavors: Like with e-cigs and their gimmick of flavorful e-liquids, pellets for pellet grills and smokers also have different flavors added to their pellets, and they include bourbon, maple, apple, cherry, mesquite, alder, pecan, and hickory. You can mix flavors, change flavors, or use different flavors for every day of the week if you do everyday barbecues and grills for your restaurant or something.
This grill also comes with an internal temperature sensor as well as a pellet purge system, an electronic auto ignition, and shutdown recycle mode. This grill offers versatility with the 7 in 1 Barbecue Smoker Grill which gives the option of searing, grilling, smoking, braising, roasting, baking, or barbecuing food. It also has a fan forced convection cooking which removes the necessity for a rotisserie.
Notwithstanding cooking – the unit has a convection warming procedure helped by the enlistment fan which courses hardwood smoke in the whole cooking chamber to make an even dispersion of warmth and an epic flavor.
Try this. Load the pellet hopper full. Vacuum out the burn pot. Put a handful of pellets in the burn pot. Replace heat shield grates, etc. Start it up and let the initial cycle run as directed. Set it to desired temp. See if it’s better.
With proper fire management, stick burners, smokers that burn wood logs, produce the best smoked meat. Period. But inexpensive stick burners don’t work well and even high quality ones, like the Horizon model shown below, require a commitment and learning curve that can be daunting to the backyard chef. Inventor Bill Karau competed on the BBQ circuit and toured BBQ joints around his stomping ground in Texas for many years before designing a stick burner that produced perfect smoke from start to finish, every time, regardless of skill, the Karubecue. At its crux is a patented Inverted Flame Firebox (IFF) which sucks heat and smoke from underneath a wood fire, not the top. Heavy smoke, laden with gases and microscopic particles is pulled through a red hot fire where it burns up, sending clean, light blue smoke and heat into a thermostatically controlled oven.